NASHVILLE, TN - The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $5 million to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to help Southern truckers and businesses buy cleaner big rigs. 

The money will guarantee loans used to buy retrofitted used tractor-trailers throughout the South. These trucks will run substantially cleaner than other rigs of the same vintage. The program is designed to improve air quality along Southern roads. 

"We are excited to kick off our 'Clean Trucks Make Cents' program," said Anne Blair, clean diesel and bioenergy program manager for SACE. "The financing will play an important role in updating older, dirty diesel trucks with clean diesel technology, helping reduce emissions and improve air quality in the Southeast." 

Rush Enterprises Inc., which operates a major network of commercial vehicle dealerships in North America, will be the exclusive vendors for these greener used trucks. Rush Truck Centers and SACE will select used trucks to be retrofitted, or buyers will have the option of choosing to retrofit a pre-2007 vehicle from trucks on the lot. 

"The Clean Trucks Make Cents program is another way Rush Truck Centers can help support the EPA and SACE's efforts to reduce emissions and improve air quality for our customers, employees and their families and neighbors in the areas we operate," said W. M. "Rusty" Rush, president and CEO of Rush Enterprises Inc. "We are happy to offer a cleaner, greener, economical option for Class 8 truck buyers who might not be able to afford the increased cost of a new 2010 emissions-compliant truck." 

The Clean Trucks Make Cents program focuses on eight Southeastern states that make up EPA Region 4, where 16 million people experience levels of pollution that do not meet national air quality standards for ground-level ozone. Eight million breathe air that exceeds federal standards for particulate matter. 

Interested buyers can contact Rush Truck Centers and search complete used truck inventory online at beginning in January. For more information, visit